Fashion icon Cameron Silver opened the doors to his Los Angeles boutique, Decades, in 1997. He quickly became one of the top vintage experts in the country. After years of fashion consulting, he decided to pen a coffee-table book. His 2012 tome, Decades: A Century of Fashion, sold out within 48 hours; a third edition was recently released in May. Now touring the country, Silver has plans to stop in Minneapolis for the Living Room’s Champagne Thursday on October 4. To lead up to the event, we picked Silver’s brain on all things fashion.
How did you get into the fashion world?
I always had fashion in my life, but I wasn’t part of the fashion world. I traveled with my parents extensively, and we discovered a lot about the exciting cities we visited by checking out local stores and designers. I worked retail throughout high school and college, and I solidified my position in the fashion world when Decades opened in 1997.
How did you know it was time to open your own fashion boutique?
I had very fortuitous timing as Decades opened right at the cusp of renewed interest in celebrity dressing. With the arrival of the 2000s, a return to glamour influenced Hollywood, and Decades became a resource for those desiring to express their individual style through treasures from the past.
What attracts you to vintage fashion?
I love history, and fashion is a fantastic barometer of the times we have lived. Looking at a beautiful vintage garment can provide a visual explanation of what was happening in society, politics and the arts since the way we express ourselves in fashion tells us a lot about who we are and where we have been.
As one of the foremost vintage styling experts in the country, how do you determine which decade best fits someone’s style?
I say dress your decade! Certain body types lend themselves to particular iconic silhouettes of the past. If you are narrow-shouldered, the bold jackets of the forties are extremely flattering. If you are long and languid, try a seventies goddess moment. When all else fails, put on Chanel!
What is your favorite fashion decade?
I am such a lover of the 1970s since it was when American fashion was put on the global map. Effortless American style will always inspire me. I can’t get enough Halston or Stephen Burrows.
Your passion for design goes beyond fashion. What inspired you to release a coffee-table book?
I was challenged to write a book that not only had intoxicating imagery but also told the story of 20th century fashion. The book is visual for your coffee table, plus each decade has an essay that will stimulate your mind and suggests the moments of the past that continue to influence us today.
What can partygoers look forward to with your upcoming Champagne Thursday appearance?
We are going to talk fashion, and I am going to style the guests in amazing treasures from Decades. I love meeting new clients and helping people dress up and ultimately have fun expressing themselves through collectible couture.
Celebrate the fall fashion season with a high-style evening of shopping with Cameron Silver, fashion director of H Halston and H by Halston and owner of the iconic Los Angeles shop Decades, as well as noted scholar and jewelry designer Stephanie Lake, owner of the eponymous jewelry firm, at the historic W Minneapolis – The Foshay, on October 4 from 7 to 10 p.m., presented by Artful Living. As the premier fall event for the W’s weekly Champagne Thursdays series and marking the debut of Artful Living’s autumn issue, the evening will feature luxe Champagne tastings paired with bubbly-friendly fare in the W’s Living Room, transformed for one night only into a lavish pop-up shop.